Ex-Johnstown pediatrician Dr. Johnnie Barto will spent at least 79 years in prison for sexually assaulting 31 children, many of whom were his patients. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says justice was delayed, but it has finally been served. "Wherever we find child predators or any person or institution covering up child abuse, my office will pursue the case," Shapiro says. Barto was sentenced Monday on dozens of counts, including aggravated indecent assault and child endangerment. He pleaded guilty to some counts in December and no contest to others. Barto spent decades abusing young boys and girls in the exam room at his pediatric practice and at local hospitals. State medical regulators threw out the case nearly two decades ago, saying the allegations of molesting two young girls were "incongruous to his reputation."
The Pennsylvania State Police and the Game Commission are being sued over a search in Berks County that involved a bulldozer and ended with a man dead. The uncle of the man who died says his nephew's constitutional rights were violated. He said his nephew, 51-year-old Gregory Longenecker, didn't deserve to die. Longenecker was being chased by state police on state game lands in Penn Township last July after he was found growing marijuana on those state game lands. Police say they eventually found Longenecker unresponsive under the bulldozer.
Investigators have identified the woman found dead over the weekend in the Lehigh Canal. The Lehigh County Coroner's Office says it was 32-year-old Kiara Senick, of Allentown, who was spotted Sunday floating in the water off Canal Park. It has also been confirmed that Senick was four months pregnant at the time of her death. The coroner is still trying to determine how she and her unborn baby died and the case remains under investigation.
A Walnutport woman is admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel when she caused an accident that left one person dead. Susan Queen pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. Queen was driving in Lehigh Township down Route 145 back in June 2017 when she dozed off and crashed head-on into 22-year-old Alana Hein, who was pronounced dead at the scene. It's expected Queen will get a prison sentence of three-months-to-one year under her plea.
KidsPeace has named Michael Slack its interim president and CEO. Slack replaces William Isemann, who held that title since 2008 but announced last April he would be retiring this year. The 50-year-old Slack joined KidsPeace in 2001 and has been KidsPeace's COO since 2016.
A suspicious package that drew a large bomb squad and police response in Slatington Monday morning turned out to be an animal repeller. A resident in the 1200 block of Main Street called police before 5am after he noticed the device with flashing lights in a wooded area behind his home. The device also emitted a low frequency sound. Police, fire officials and the Allentown bomb squad responded and blocked off alleys in the area and told residents to shelter in place and eventually deployed a robot to recover the device. The shelter-in-place order was lifted just after 8:30am.
A 17-year-old was injured in a shooting in Allentown Sunday night. Officers were called to East Hamilton and South Bradford streets around 9:30 p.m. for a report of gunshots. While officers were there, they were notified that a male had walked into Sacred Heart Hospital with a gunshot wound. The 17-year-old was shot in the arm. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.
People heading to prison in Pennsylvania are going to have to kick their smoking habit as cigarettes are going to be banned. Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced Monday that all state prisons are going tobacco-free as of July 1st. Wetzel says the move promotes a healthier environment while increasing security by erasing black-market tobacco sales inside state prisons. The ban also covers tobacco of any sort and that includes cigars, tobacco substitutes and chewing tobacco, while also nixing possession of lighters and other smoking paraphernalia.
A bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania is circulating in the state Senate. Senators Daylin Leach and Sharif Street are looking for co-sponsors of Senate Bill 350, which would allow anyone 21 and older to use marijuana. The measure would also allow you to grow up to six marijuana plants at a time for personal use. Using marijuana in public would be prohibited in this proposal.
A state lawmaker is leaving office amid allegations he sexually assaulted a woman more than three years ago. Republican St. Rep. Brian Ellis from Butler County submitted his resignation letter Monday, saying the move is in the best interests of his family, health and constituents. Investigators have been looking into claims Ellis had sex with a woman unable to consent. His resignation is effective immediately.
One of the many Democrats running for president in 2020 is coming to a Pennsylvania campus today. Penn State University is hosting newly announced presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. The Texas Democrat is expected on the Penn State campus this morning according to his campaign website. O'Rourke reportedly raised more than $6 million for his campaign just 24 hours after his announcement.
The Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh is working to raise funds for the victims of the mass shooting in New Zealand. Leaders say they feel compelled to help after they themselves received support from around the world following a deadly shooting at their synagogue in October. The congregation's goal is to raise $100,000.
The Philadelphia Eagles are adding depth to the safety position. The Eagles signed safety Andrew Sendejo to a one-year deal. Sendejo will join Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod at the position. Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with Minnesota.